When Sean Connery was given the role of James Bond in the first film of the series in 1962 he was a world away from the character envisioned by writer Ian Fleming. Fleming came from an enormously privileged background and this was reflected in the sophisticated tastes of his hero, who had first appeared in the novel "Casino Royale" in 1953.
Connery, on the other hand was very much a working class Scot, whose paternal grandparents landed in Scotland in the mid nineteenth century from Ireland. Connery's father was a factory worker and lorry driver while his mother worked as a cleaner; on leaving school his first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh and it is reported that his deliveries included Fettes, where James Bond is supposed to have been educated after being expelled from Eton.
After a stint in the navy, from which he was discharged on medical grounds, Connery went back to his old job; afterwards he was to try his hand as a lorry driver, lifeguard, labourer, an artist's model and a coffin polisher.
As a keen body builder he entered in the Mr Universe competition in the early 1950s, although the exact year is a matter of debate. However, another competitor mentioned that there were auditions for a production of "South Pacific" taking place; Connery landed a small part in the production, the start of his acting career.
In the late 1950s Connery started to get some parts in films, including "Action of the Tiger", directed by Terrence Young, who also directed three of the Bond movies including the first, "Dr No".
When the producers of "Dr No" were looking to cast an actor to play James Bond they came across Sean Connery. While there was some doubt about him, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli's wife Dana is often credited with persuading her husband to pick Connery after seeing him in the Disney fantasy "Darby O'Gill and the Little People".
Ian Fleming was not impressed either, but meeting Connery for lunch one day Fleming's female companion insisted that he had what the role needed.
Director Terrence Young took helped get into shape as Bond, teaching him how to wear his suit so it looked like it belonged to him, how to walk and move and how he should act in every possible social situation.
When the film was premiered in London in 1962 it was a massive success and a follow up assured. And not only were audiences impressed by his performance as 007; by the time of"Dr No" being released Fleming had changed his mind about Sean Connery completely. In his next book, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Fleming revealed that Bond was, in fact, born to a Scottish father and Swiss mother!
The next James Bond film is called "Skyfall" and due out at the end of October 2012. Click here for our "Skyfall" page or keep up to date with the latest Skyfall news at The James Bond Dossier: http://www.tjbd.co.uk/news/skyfall-news